Monday, January 28, 2008

Kenny Mac ski race and Training Jan 2008

January in Gunnison started off with deep snows and COLD weather. So much snow fell that the DOW decided to begin feeding deer in the valley as they felt that over 70% of does and fauns would die..... The downhill skiing was great however.

Then the snow let up and the cold set in the second and third weeks. Scott (traverse partner) and I spent the next weeks skiing with most days never getting above -5F and lows between -25 and -38F somehow avoiding nipping the nose. It finally warmed and skiing became more comfortable. It is amazing how nice 3F feels!

There is a local Nordic ski race in Gunnison, weather/snow permitting, at a local mt bike, hiking, and ski area about 6 mi from town. This year it was in honor of Kenny Mac who had been a force in the ski scene for the past 50 yrs. It consisted of a 1/4 and 1 k kids race, and 15 and 30 k adult races including a ski tour and race to the top of the rocks and straight back down. I decided to try the 30 K skate ski race.

Everyone lined up that was doing the 15 k one lap and 30 k two lap race at 11:00 (temp 1-2F). Many of the fast local guys didn't show up for one reason or another so I had a fighting chance at placing. I did however start behind the fast girls. Two of them are past Olympic skiers and another is the mother of one. We started up "kill hill" at a moderate pace. Rebeca who was in the 2006 Olympics lead the way. At the top of the hill we headed left up a long climb. We all stayed pretty close together. At the top of the long hill I tried to get my camel back nipple unfrozen and it popped off and fell in the snow. I had to stop and got passed by Rebecca's mom Carol. Now I'm in third place overall as the two fastest girls were just doing one lap. One guy was ahead of me. We continued on and the first lap went by pretty fast in about an hour. My water froze again so I took off my pack and got passed again! It takes a second as the polls have to come off as well. Now I was in third place. Thankfully we didn't have to go back down kill hill on the second lap! So up the long hill again and back around. The final bit of skiing was down kill hill on the skinny skis which is always interesting. But I got to the finish with no mishaps. My legs were pretty tired and I was a bit dehydrated at the end. I was third in the men's race in just under 2 hours and fourth overall as Grandma Carol came in about in minute faster.
Next week the Alley loop in Crested Butte. Should I do the 42 K or the 21K??? I felt pretty tired after the 30 K but I think there is definitely more climbing at Hartman Rocks. For pictures of Hartman Rocks go to:


Dr. D said...

Good race. I haven't been on skis for years until xmas and never skated so it sounds really interesting. I rode yesterday in the cold wind and now I have a chest cold. I remember that cold, high altitude air being pretty hard on the lungs too. Any burning on the uphill?

Jarral Ryter said...

Skate skiing makes the heart go to a max as you are using arms legs torso etc. Not much probs with lungs as it was just above 0. I did have a bit of a cold so lots of snot.